When I bike home from work it’s difficult (my bike has no gears and it is uphill) and on hotter days I have to take a break because of my asthma. There are no sidewalks so I have to do this on a shady spot on the road a little bit out of the way. A man will always slow down in his car and stop. Always. It happens literally every time. And they mean well so far… until one doesn’t, you know? So these are the awful things that occurred to me today when I was waiting for my daily horrifying interaction:
The thing is, women never pull over. Because they know that if I needed help I would be actively seeking it. But men see me and think they need to “just check up on me” and every single time it is terrifying.
Fed up with abusive husbands and corrupt officials, India’s poorest women are banding together, taking up arms, and fighting back. Even more shocking than the pink saris they wear: Their quest for justice is actually working.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION this post neglected to tell you:
The name of this gang is : The Gulabi Gang (The Pink Gang)
They are a group of vigilantes and activists who fight against corrupt policemen and politicians, abusive husbands, work toward fighting child marriages, dowry demands and abusive in-lawsThe Gulabi gang was founded by Sampat Pal Devi, a mother of five and former government health worker (as well as a former child bride), as a response to widespread domestic abuse and other violence against women.
In 2008, they stormed an electricity office in Banda district and forced officials to turn back on the power they had cut in order to extract bribes. They have also stopped child marriages and protested dowry and female illiteracy.
Gulabis visit abusive husbands and threaten to beat them with laathis (sticks) unless they stop abusing their wives.
In the span of five years, the group has grown into a powerful brigade of more than 20,000 women, including 10 district commanders, who run the gang’s outposts across the district of Bundelkhand—an area that spans 36,000 square miles- which is where they originated from.
For many women in India, the Pink Gang is their last hope for justice. But as the group has grown in size and power, so too have their opponents.
Today Pal doesn’t just take on abusive husbands, she challenges corrupt policemen and dishonest politicians—often putting her group in the center of controversy.
Pal (Founder) worked to help a 17-year-old girl, Sheelu Nishad, who’d been gang-raped by a group of men, including one she identified as a member of the local legislature, Purushottam Dwivedi.
Nishad went to the police, but instead of being questioned, she was arrested—it turned out her attacker had already called the police, accusing her of theft. Her father went to Pal for help.
“I was nervous and crying and somebody suggested I go to the gang,” says the frail elderly man. Pal organized an agitation in front of the police station, and later in front of Dwivedi’s house.
So effective was her intervention that Dwivedi was arrested, and Rahul Gandhi, the heir to the Gandhi family’s political throne, traveled the 370 miles from New Delhi to meet the girl. “She is a very good lady,” Nishad says of Pal. “She has told the world about my plight.”
CFP: Moving Women, Moving Objects (300-1500) (ICMA CAA 2015)
As we examine medieval works of art like manuscripts, reliquaries, and jewels, today anchored and spotlighted in their museum vitrines, it is easy to imagine these sumptuous objects at rest in the hands of their original owners. But, in truth, they were in constant motion, and women were especially responsible for the movement of these works of art. This panel seeks to enrich the discussion of women and their relationships with their objects that, in the area of non-book arts, remains relatively unexplored. Luscious objects were gifts that traveled lesser and greater distances, some imported in brides’ nuptial coffers and many more commissioned and used to unite women separated by their politically advantageous marriages. Sisters and mothers, grandmothers and aunts, daughters and cousins, as well as friends and allies, all exchanged works of art with shared stories and iconographies. These pieces were the tokens that served as tribute, the centerpieces of rituals and ceremonies, the precious keepsakes enjoyed in intimate places, and the markers of architectural spaces often also founded or endowed by these women.Theories of feminism, anthropology, sociology, and geography, among others, can all aid in the interpretation of the movement of works of art by women. New technologies such as GIS mapping and digital modeling enable us to visualize the international trajectories of works of art, as well as the movement and placement of them within architectural space. Proposals for this panel could include papers concerning women living between 300-1500. While proposals discussing European examples are anticipated, those analyzing any culture are encouraged. Papers might discuss women moving their objects in ritual space; the international, cross-cultural fertilization of the arts resulting from women’s gifts; the mapping of women’s identity through placement of objects; or class and women’s movement of their objects.
A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On
Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of any gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.
Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.
If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them. The fact that you blame feminists—your allies—for problems against which they have been struggling for decades suggests that supporting men isn’t nearly as important to you as resenting women. We care about your problems a lot. Could you try caring about ours?"Excerpt from If I Admit That Hating Men is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning it Into a Self-fulfilling Prophecy?, by Lindy West (via angerr)